Frequently Asked Questions

Photo of the Chavez Ravine by Don Normark

Q: How do I apply?
A:
Click here for detailed application instructions.

Q: When is the application deadline? 
A:
Applications are due no later than December 1st.

Q: Do I have to send a copy of my transcript directly to American Culture?
A: No. Applicants do not have to send a copy of their transcripts to the Department of American Culture. Applicants must provide one set of official final undergraduate and graduate (where applicable) academic records/transcripts, with your degree posted to Rackham Graduate School. Official documents must be provided from the institution awarding the degree. The Rackham Graduate School requires that applicants submit one official academic record/transcript from each institution where you have earned or will earn a Bachelor’s, Master's, Professional, and Doctoral degree.

Q: What is the difference between the Academic Statement of Purpose and the Personal Statement?
A:
Academic Statement of Purpose:
The statement of purpose should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how Michigan's graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.

A: Personal Statement (500 word limit): The personal statement should describe how your background and life experiences including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan.

Q: How many pages should my Expository Writing Sample be?
A: Your writing sample should not exceed 15 pages. This writing need not be on the subject of your proposed study but will ideally demonstrate strength in the interdisciplinary primary research methods used in American studies and/or ethnic studies. If you choose to submit a writing sample from another field or from within a single discipline (such as history or English) please use your statement of proposed research to comment on the way you expect your methodology to change in future scholarship.

Q: Do I need to submit GRE scores with my application?
A:
Yes, all applicants are required to submit official GRE scores directly to the Rackham Graduate School via Educational Testing Service (ETS). Unofficial copies, photocopies, or faxed copies of score reports cannot be accepted.

Q: Does American Culture offer a master's degree?
A:
No. The department does not offer a master's program. All applicants are considered for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Q: What are the minimum GPA and GRE requirements for admission to the graduate program?
A:
The faculty take all parts of an application into consideration. The selection process is very competitive. Applicants are expected to be well-prepared for graduate study.